Gigi Buffon admits “this could be my final year” as a player, so it’s only right Juventus and Italy seek his heirs, but shows respect for Liechtenstein.
The World Cup qualifier kicks off at Udinese’s Dacia Arena on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).
Was it tough for Buffon and the other Juventus players to move on from the Champions League Final defeat with Real Madrid to international duty?
“We move easily, because at the end of the day I’d like to finish the season with a victory, a good result and hopefully a clean sheet. All these ingredients make our approach to the game very focused,” the captain told Sky Sport Italia.
“The career of a sportsman is made up of victories and of defeats. I have won a great deal in my time and I’ve lost a fair bit too. We must always look forward. There was too much optimism going into a game where even the stupidest Real Madrid player had many more trophies and appearances in big Finals than me.”
The talk ahead of the Liechtenstein match has all been about getting as many goals as possible to improve goal difference in the group.
“I don’t like these announcements beforehand of a festival of goals, as that shows a lack of respect for the opposition. They are 11 men, just like us. It would also encourage our team to relax.
“We know that we’ll need the performance to earn this victory and also that we’ve got no choice but to win, so we’ve got to give it our all and remain concentrated.”
Buffon commented in tonight’s Press conference that “this could be my final year and I want to experience it as a protagonist.”
Meanwhile, Gianluigi Donnarumma started for the Azzurri in the 3-0 friendly win over Uruguay and Juventus reportedly have a deal with Wojciech Szczesny.
“I am not eternal and I never thought that I was. I think of the group, so Juventus and the Nazionale quite rightly have to plan beyond the individual.
“I said in the past that I might not want to be a Coach, but perhaps a CT at international level would be less stressful on a daily basis. When I do retire, I’d like to rest a little bit, as it has been a long and intense career.”